Shaw is opposing Bell by proposing to reject the idea of a mandated Netflix Canadian content contribution tax, according to its submission to the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review.

According to an Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Online request from University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist, Shaw is arguing for more regulatory flexibility and broadcast competition.

“A regulatory framework that depends on foreign [over-the-top (OTT)] services to achieve the cultural objectives of Canada’s domestic broadcasting system will likely lead to issues of enforcement as well as inconsistent and unsatisfactory results,” the submission reads.

The company is arguing for the removal of the mandated five percent contributions by broadcast distributing units (BDUs). Shaw is against the formation of a new ISP tax, stating that there are several problems with it, such as affordability and harm to innovation.

This preliminary report from the expert panel on broadcast and telecommunications law reform was set to become available in June.

Shaw’s stance comes after Bell’s submission to the BTLR, in which it called for the regulation of several American companies, including Netflix and Amazon Prime.

The submission from Bell also called for the criminalization of those who are even slightly associated with unauthorized online video streaming.

Shaw says that there should be a “more flexibile, market-driven approach” in order to reach the objectives of the Broadcasting Act. It believes that consumers would benefit from the introduction of an obligation put on OTT providers, such as Netflix, to focus on the availability of Canadian content.

The company says this will avoid possible trade agreement conflicts. Shaw does, however, support sales taxes on Netflix.

Shaw is also arguing that broadcast suppliers already contribute to Canadian content by investing in its spread via its networks.

Bell’s submission to the BLTR is focused more on self-interest, while Shaw’s submission hopes for a ‘lightweight regulatory model’ based on competition and improved pricing.

Source: Michael Geist ATIP documents

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